Spring training is upon us, Redleg fans! Sure, last year was rough, but this year things could be different. They just need a few breaks! Here are the 7 things that will really determine if this is the year the Reds will contend again.
- The 25th man on the bench – It’s true!!! This player is going to get 75-100 at bats. Maybe more than that! That’s more at bats than the 26th guy, who will be hanging out in Triple-A, where he won’t be getting anything other than Delino DeShields’ coffee.
- Bronson Arroyo’s hair style – Why do you think he was so good back in the day when he was throwing slop up there all the time? It was those lovely locks. If Arroyo can hit on the right hair length, it doesn’t matter if he leaves his bionic elbow in the hotel room, opposing hitters will be too busy staring enviously at his noggin to pay attention to the softly lobbed “fastballs” from the aging hurler.
- The batting order – THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING AND WE MUST ALL BARRAGE C. TRENT ROSECRANS WITH TWITTER COMPLAINTS UNTIL HE BATS HIS BATTERS IN THE SABERMETRICALLY CORRECT WAY OR THE REDS WILL BE BAD FOREVER THE END.
- The last man in the bullpen – Listen to me. This is almost as important as number one up there. I mean, we’re talking about what? 25 or 30 innings pitched when the Reds are in a worse pickle than someone trying to have a conversation with Chadwick Quincy Dotson while ignoring his accent. Did you know that if you tease old Q-bert about voice inflections that he can have you banned from GABP from November-March? It’s true. Don’t you cross him. Anyway, those innings are vital. VITAL I TELL YOU!!!
- Corndogs – GABP does not serve corndogs. No it does not. I haven’t done any research into the matter but it seemed to me impossible that a team could ever have won the World Series without serving corndogs to their erstwhile fans.
- Spring Training record – If there’s one thing I know, it’s that how your not-in-shape-yet Double-A players do against their not-in-shape-yet Double-A players tells you all you need to know about who’s going to have a parade at the end of the year.
- Dick Williams’ Dancin’ Shoes – We’ve all been talking about how interested we are to see all the moves Dick can make. Well guess what? He’s been gyratin’ all over the place this offseason. maybe we can all chip in and get him brand new shiny, shiny shoes so he can make the moves he needs to make. If things go right, he’ll dance us all the way to the World Series!!!
Jason has been a fan of the Reds since he was born. He really had no choice in the matter. He has been writing at Redleg Nation for a few years, and also writes and edits at The Hardball Times. His debut novel, When the Sparrow Sings, is available now and concerns baseball, among other things. You can find more information at jasonlinden.com.